Board of Public Works approves funding for clean water and the Chesapeake Bay

BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS APPROVES FUNDING FOR CLEAN WATER AND THE CHESAPEAKE BAY

Grants and loans will reduce pollution and energy consumption, improve drinking water system

BALTIMORE (March 4, 2020) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved nearly $9 million in grants and loans today to reduce pollution, save energy and improve drinking water systems. The board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“We appreciate the Board of Public Works’ steady commitment to restoring the Chesapeake and urge every member of the General Assembly to reject attempts to divert $25 million from the Bay Restoration Fund,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “These projects, including the upgrade to the Blue Plains wastewater facility, will help us to green and grow the state’s economy and lead in the race to protect and restore Chesapeake Bay watersheds.”

The following projects were approved today:

Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade project

A $5,595,397 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission will help fund the planning, design and construction of Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrades at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant’s phosphorus discharge is better than ENR levels under requirements of its discharge permit. These upgrades will allow the plant to reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83%, significantly reducing the nutrients discharged to the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay restoration plan. This project will be constructed in accordance with coastal and non-coastal resiliency guidelines developed as part of the Coast Smart Program to reduce climate change risks to such projects.

Fruitland Water System Upgrade – Wicomico County

Funding of $2,438,096 – a $1,219,048 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan and a grant in the form of forgiveness of a $1,219,048 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan – to the City of Fruitland will fund an upgrade to the city’s water system to improve source water, water treatment and dependability. The city depends primarily on a single well. The work includes the installation of a new well with backup power to provide a reliable, high-yield, high-quality source of water.

Princess Anne Wastewater Treatment Plant solar project – Somerset County

An $807,183 Energy Water Infrastructure Program grant to the Somerset County Sanitary District will help fund the construction of a solar panel system to generate renewable energy for the operation of the Princess Anne Wastewater Treatment Plant. This project is consistent with the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act’s statewide goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

85 Dover Road Business Building Sewer Connection project – Anne Arundel County

A $42,220 Bay Restoration Fund grant to I-97 Sewer, LLC (St. John Properties) will help fund the construction of a connection from a warehouse to an existing sewer line and the abandonment and removal of a septic system currently serving the building. The public system will convey wastewater to the Cox Creek Water Reclamation Facility, which has been upgraded to ENR levels of treatment. This project would reduce total nitrogen discharge to groundwater by about 134 pounds a year. The project is part of the Maryland Department of the Environment’s efforts to connect failing septic systems to public sewers to reduce nutrient pollution and eliminate public health problems exacerbated by climate change.

Rock Hall Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade project – Kent County

A $25,600 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the Town of Rock Hall will fund the planning for an Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrade of the Rock Hall Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrade, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83% and its phosphorus discharge by 70%, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients to Gray’s Inn Creek and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay restoration plan. This project will be constructed in accordance with coastal and non-coastal resiliency guidelines developed as part of the Coast Smart Program to reduce climate change risks to such projects.

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